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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the German Zwicker family come from? What is the German Zwicker family crest and coat of arms? When did the Zwicker family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Zwicker family history?

The German state of Bavaria is the ancestral home of the Zwicker family. Zwicker is a local name. Zwicker is a name for someone who lived in the town of Zwickl in Bavaria. In the eastern regions of Bohemia and Silesia, Zwicker or Zwicke was a short form of Zwickauer, which denoted a person from the Saxon city of Zwickau. In Old German, the words Zwick, Zwack, or Zweck meant nails orbolts, and the verb zwicken or zwacken meant to pack or load.


Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Zwicker include Zwick, Zwickel, Zwicker (Saxony), Zwicke (Silesia), Zwickert (Silesia), Zwicken, Zwicki (Switzerland), Zwicky (Switzerland), Zwack (Bavaria), Zwacker, Zweck and many more.

First found in Bavaria, where the name emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation. Zwickl is a town in Bavaria, and Berchtold der Zwickel was the founder of a prominent line of the family in the Bavarian city Augsburg around 1317. In the eastern regions of Bohemia and Silesia, Zwicker or Zwicke was a short form of the label "Zwickauer," applied to a person from the Saxon city of Zwickau. For instance, Herman Czwicker (Czickower) was recorded in the Silesian city Breslau in 1348. Chronicles also mention Heinrich Zwick of the Swiss town St. Gallen in the year 1436. In Old-German, the words Zwick, Zwack, or Zweck referred literally to nails or bolts, and the verb "zwicken" or "zwacken" meant to pack or load.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Zwicker research. Another 223 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1709, 1792, 1403, 1391, 1403 and 1792 are included under the topic Early Zwicker History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Zwicker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Zwickers to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Zwicker Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • while Wendel Zwicker came to Philadelphia in 1737
  • Georg Melchior Zwicker, who landed in America in 1750
  • Johann Georg Zwicker, who landed in America in 1750
  • Johann Peter Zwicker, who arrived in America in 1750
  • Maria Barbara Zwicker, who landed in America in 1750

Zwicker Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Regina Dorothea Zwicker, who landed in America in 1853


  • Steven Nathan Zwicker (b. 1943), American literary scholar from San Diego, California, Stanley Elkin Professor in the Humanities in Arts and Sciences at Washington University
  • Virgil Zwicker (b. 1982), American mixed martial artist from San Diego, California
  • Hans-Peter Zwicker (b. 1960), Swiss retired football striker


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  1. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  2. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  3. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  4. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  5. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
  10. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  11. ...

The Zwicker Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Zwicker Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 July 2013 at 10:53.

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